A decade of same-sex marriage in Canada—and the country still exists

Nigeria passed a ban on same-sex marriage on May 30.

A masked, shirtless man carrying a flare ran across the tennis courts at the French Open on June 9 to protest France's recent legalization of gay marriage and adoption.

And as if that wasn't flamboyant or homoerotic enough, Russia has criticized Elton John for his taste in clothing which they perceive as gay propaganda. (Um, what fashion isn't?)

From a Canadian perspective, sometimes it's hard to believe but same-sex marriage and LGBT–rights debates continue to rage on in countries around the world.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have yet to take notice that Canada, which is celebrating a decade of same-sex marriage being legal, has not collapsed, vanished, or fallen into the pits of hell. (Rob Ford and Vancouver rain, notwithstanding.)

In fact, a study has revealed that countries that accept same-sex marriage are among the happiest in the world. The top 10 developed nations (which includes Canada) on the Better Life Index (by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) all have laws to protect citizens against discrimination based on sexual orientation. And all ten countries either have legalized gay marriage or have same-sex marriage either proposed or pending.

In other words, when you stop wasting time and energy hating others, suppressing people, and minding your own goddamn business, you can devote all of that to actually enjoying your own life. Brilliant.

Here's a quick recap of how Canadians found the road to happiness.

It was on June 10, 2003, when the Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled that the Canadian law on marriage violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by restricting marriage to heterosexual couples.

Ontario became the first North American jurisdiction to recognize same-sex marriage.

Michael Leshner and Michael Stark became Canada's first same-sex couple to be legally married.

The B.C. Court of Appeal issued a similar ruling a mere month later on July 8. Eight B.C. couples won the right to marry. Tom Graff and Antony Porcino became the first same-sex couple to be married in B.C.

Quebec was next on March 19, 2004, and several other provinces and territories followed suit later that year and into 2005.

The Divorce Act was also ruled unconstitutional for excluding same-sex couples.

And lo, Canada became the fourth country in the world, and the first outside Europe, to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide on July 20, 2005.

Happy gay anniversary, Canada, and may others soon join us in our glee.

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